Government Square shooting suspect charged with attempted murder

Victim in critical condition
PD: One person shot at Government Square
PD: One person shot at Government Square
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 09:11:37-05

CINCINNATI -- A woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a shooting that left one man with life-threatening injuries in the middle of Government Square, police said.

Ceira King, whom police said they arrested when they saw her walking rapidly away from the scene and discovered a handgun in her possession, stands charged with one count of attempted murder. She was secured on a $500,000 bond Thursday morning in Hamilton County.

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The victim, a man in his 40s, was transported to University Medical Center in critical condition -- court documents said that King shot him multiple times in the neck, chest and body.

Justin Palmer and others in the downtown area ran for cover after the shots rang out.

"I heard six gunshots, I would say," Palmer said. "It could have been very dangerous. Anybody could have got shot. A bullet don't have a name on it."

First responders move the victim to an ambulance.

The shooting happened near Fifth and Walnut streets and shut down one of the busiest blocks in the Central Business District, where Metro buses load and unload, one block from Fountain Square. The area was blocked off for a time and Metro buses had to be detoured while police investigated.

Essence Allie said she saw the shooting. She said the victim and shooter were arguing on the street corner.

"The dude was tumbling and fell down the pole," she said.

Allie said she was afraid the bullets might hit a nearby child. She said she was less concerned for herself.

"I am from Avondale and I am used to gun violence and all this stuff," she said. "It could have been a young girl walking past, trying to get to her mama, and she could have ended up getting shot because bullets have no eyes."

Police capture suspect near Eighth and Walnut streets.

Witnesses said King ran across Fountain Square trying to escape. Officers apprehended her near Eighth and Walnut and recovered a semi-automatic handgun, police said.

It was not a random shooting, police Lt. Steve Saunders emphasized in an apparent effort to reassure the public that downtown is safe. According to numbers released Wednesday by the Cincinnati Police Department, the Central Business District is among Cincinnati's safest neighborhoods.

"It's a very dangerous situation anytime someone is engaging in gunfire, and especially in an area where there is potentially a lot of people around, but ... From what we understand and the information we have, it was a very targeted attack," Saunders said.

In court documents, the victim said that he and King knew one another. King appears before a judge in court Thursday morning.